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A Yorkshire Boyhood

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349116556

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 1st November 2012

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

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It was not until he was dead and I was forty that I realised my father was once in Holy Orders,’ Roy Hattersley tells us in the opening pages of A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD; so setting the tone for an elegant, continually surprising book.

A somewhat precocious only child, Roy grew up surrounded by protective, ever-anxious adults, equally determined to expose him to books and to shield him from germs — second-hand books were decontaminated by a sharp session in the oven. Uncle Ernest, a timber merchant’s clerk celebrated for his skill at ‘fretwork and the manipulation of Indian clubs’; a ten-year feud with the next-door neighbours; unwavering devotion to Sheffield Wednesday – all the pleasures and pangs of northern working-class childhood are magnificently evoked as Roy Hattersley takes us through the hardships of the Thirties and the Blitz; and into the 1940s, the 11-plus examination and Grammar School.
Completely updated, A YORKSHIRE BOYHOOD is an autobiographical essay of unusual wit, eloquence and candour.

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A lovely and well-written read.
A narrator who has the common touch . . . This gift for re-creating his childhood makes Mr Hattersley the Beryl Bainbridge of English politics
Roy Hattersley's warm, entertaining account of his early years as a happy, much cherished child is a pleasure to read... An engaging, yet also persuasive read.
His moving memoir...explains the idealism that makes him tick.